YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #71 US, #32 UK
SINGLES: Another Nail in My Heart (#17 UK), If I Didn’t Love You, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) (#44), Farfisa Beat
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Squeeze fans can sing along to the whole thing.
LINEUP: Chris Difford, Glenn Tillbrook, Jools Holland, Gilson Lavis, John Bentley
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Masterful, tuneful, playful album that put Squeeze at the top of the New Wave movement in the UK and garnered them notice in the US.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Squeeze followed up their breakout album in the UK with one of the best albums of the era. Their songwriting and sound moved forward, throwing in a lot of their influences and becoming quite eclectic while maintain a signature sound.
The patented octave harmonies of Difford and Tillbrook are prevalent during many of the choruses of the songs, lending familiarity, but they change it up with allowing Difford’s growl to take the lead during some pieces of those choruses and bridges. The combo of Jools Holland’s keyboards, Tillbrook’s guitar, and newcomer John Bentley’s bass add a solid touch that is versatile enough to span several idioms.
The stars of the show are the songs. All 11 tracks are strong, even the ‘novelty’ types such as “Farfisa Beat” and Holland’s showcase “Wrong Side of the Moon”. They’re tuneful, wry, and challenging, and each one has a distinct style while keeping the sound of Squeeze. That’s a tough trick to pull off, and Squeeze does it here.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Holland left soon after the album release to start his solo and television career.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with b-sides, demos, and a live concert.
GRADE: A+: From tracks 1-11, even on the ‘filler’ as it were, this is a testament to great songwriting and tuneful pop arrangements and melodies.